In the magazine business, the Back Page is where you'd find all the weird goofs that we couldn't fit in anywhere else. Some may call it "filler"; we prefer "a whole page to make terrible jokes that are tangentially related to the content of the mag".

We don't have (paper) pages on the internet, but we still love terrible jokes — so welcome to our semi-regular feature, Back Page. Today, Kate wonders where our gritty Netflix series have gotten to...

Turning a gritty game into a gritty TV show? Too easy

There's something weird happening in Hollywood. Whenever a video game gets made into a TV show or a movie, it's almost always a gritty, depressing, desaturated action-adventure romp where everyone's got five days of stubble and a voice made of gravel. Unless, of course, you're Nintendo, because Nintendo properties get turned into kids' movies and cartoons.

Why doesn't Nintendo get gritty reboots, huh? Trust me, there's plenty of fodder in the Nintendo stable for some grim Hollywood blockbusters... and I'm gonna pitch them!

Kirby and the Forgotten Land

Gritty TV Reboots -- Kirby
Image: Kate Gray

Kirby's cutesy post-apocalyptic adventure would make for a perfect gritty TV show. It's basically The Last of Us already, but with cute dogs instead of horrible zombies.

But we can change that! Just change the cute Awoofies to slobbering, realistic wolves, cast Robert Pattinson as a grizzled Kirby who's five days from retirement or whatever, and have Waddle Dee played by, I don't know, Rahul Kohli, as an inexperienced but spunky sidekick who's constantly trying to impress Kirby. I would 100% watch this.

Also, Kirby has an eye patch.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Gritty TV Reboots -- Breath of the Wild
Image: Kate Gray

Much like every other game on this list, BOTW has plenty of gritty substance to build a show around — you just have to turn the brightness and the saturation down, and you've basically done half the work.

The show, of course, would start with Link waking up in the Shrine of Resurrection, but rather than a jolly and exciting trot down the hill to meet a nice old man, I think we'd instead have Link stumbling out of the cave into something more like a blasted landscape. Villages would largely be destroyed, the few survivors scattered throughout Hyrule, and no one would be trustworthy any more because they're all either out to get something, or they're secretly Yiga Clan assassins.

I love Breath of the Wild, but I also know that in order to get HBO's attention, I'd have to liberally apply a varnish of grimness to the whole thing, and I think that would actually be quite fun. Picture Link rocking up at the Temple of Time, greeted by a fading spectre of the King of Hyrule, only to have him lead Link to a pile of bones in the corner — the last remains of Rhoam. Or defeating Ganon, saving Zelda, and discovering that she used the very last of her power and life to bring you there and save Hyrule, fulfilling both your destinies... and, of course, it turns out that Link's life was tied to hers, too, and they both perish on the floor of Hyrule Castle, satisfied that their journeys came to an end, together.

I mean, come on. I know he's a magic boy, but he LITERALLY dies in the game and then spends 100 years napping. He should totally die at the end.


Gritty TV Reboots -- Splatoon
Image: Kate Gray

Okay, so for this gritty TV reboot of the Splatoon series, here's what I'm thinking: It's a futuristic, neon-tinged Western — Blade Runner meets The Walking Dead meets The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Maybe a bit of Kill Bill thrown in there, just for fun. And The A-Team. It's a lot of things.

In the Splatoon TV show, I'm picturing an ensemble cast — a team of crack-shot Inklings, training to become the protectors of Earth. There's a mad scientist who invents ink weapons — the Salmonids' one weakness! — and the show follows this rag-tag group of survivors as they strike out into the world, hoping to find somewhere to call home once more.

Luigi's Mansion

Gritty TV Reboots -- Luigi's Mansion
Image: Kate Gray

Luigi, in this movie, is a retired plumber who spends his day at dimly-lit bars, drowning his sorrows with endless refills of Mushroom Vodka. After Mario's disappearance following a strange lottery win, the world assumes that the shorter Mario Bro is long dead — killed for the money, no doubt — until one day, Luigi gets a missive from a former mentor of his, Professor Elvin Gadd, a scientist whose research was discredited after a series of failed experiments.

Prof. Gadd summons Luigi to the decrepit mansion that Mario had bought with his lottery winnings, and informs Luigi that Mario has been trapped here by ghosts. OBVIOUSLY Luigi thinks Gadd is mad (which he is), until a ghost murders the Professor right in front of him. Luckily, anticipating this outcome, the Professor left behind a note for Luigi, informing him how to use his patent-pending invention, the Poltergust 3,000...


Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

Gritty TV Reboots -- Ace Attorney
Image: Kate Gray

Ace Attorney is grittier than people realise. Sure, it's about murder, but dig a little deeper and you'll discover conspiracies, cover-ups, and corruption behind the legal system itself.

It wouldn't be too far of a step to take the games from the small screen to the slightly bigger screen — just dress Phoenix up in a slightly-darker-blue suit, have his mentor killed early in episode one, and watch him rise from the ashes. Bonus points if you write in his relationship with Edgeworth as a canonical one that has him feeling torn between the law and love!

Mario Party

Gritty TV Reboots -- Mario Party
Image: Kate Gray

In this mash-up of family fun and the Saw franchise, a group of Super Mario characters are trapped in a life-size board game and forced to play for the highest stakes of all: Their own lives. Backstabbing, star-stealing, and loaded dice are just some of the obstacles to overcome, and that's before you even get to the minigames.

But just who is behind this megalomaniacal game? It can't be Bowser again... right?

Give me your gritty Nintendo TV show pitches in the comments. Maybe together, we can get the attention of HBO!